First Time Officiant Orientation

An Introduction to Officiating Wedding Ceremonies.

What Happens in a Wedding Ceremony?

A wedding ceremony is a ritual during which two people get married. There is no legally required form to a wedding ceremony. However, there are well-established traditions that dictate how a wedding ceremony proceeds. These conventions are observed during the vast majority of wedding ceremonies, and guests have come to expect them. In fact, the components of a wedding ceremony, such as the vows or exchange of rings, act as markers that let guests know what's going on, and what's coming next.

Understanding these conventions will be helpful when you are writing your own wedding ceremony script. If a wedding ceremony was a house, this means that the framework is already built for you. Your job is to decorate and expand the house as you and the couple see fit. This is where creativity and personalization come into play as you write your own wedding ceremony script.

So what really happens during a wedding ceremony?

In just a few sentences, the wedding party enters. Then, in front of the guests, the couple declares their intention to marry, they verbally agree to be married, and then they are declared a married couple by the officiant. This process could last just a few minutes, or longer depending on how the script is written. It's really that simple. Of course, most ceremonies are longer because other components like personalized vows, ring exchanges, and readings take place. But these parts of the ceremony aren't technically required, even if they are important.

Check out our Parts of a Wedding Ceremony page to learn about the basic wedding ceremony structure.


Will You Marry Us? Gift Package

Who Will Officiate Your Wedding?

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Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

It's finally here! Timeless scripts and heartfelt vow inspiration to bring life to your ceremony.

Professional Wedding Officiant Certification Course

Learn from the Pros to Officiate with Confidence!

Wedding Officiant Training

Wedding Officiant Training

Everything you need to know to officiate.

Read our sample wedding ceremony scripts online

Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

Need inspiration? Check out our free ceremony scripts!

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Wedding Ceremony Quiz

Wedding Ceremony Quiz

Test Your Knowledge of Your Officiant Duties.

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Manage your ceremony planning to-do's all in one place.


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